People are furious at feminist icon, United Nations ambassador, and Hollywood star Emma Watson for an old Lancome ad.
The product has been met with contention after an essay appeared on Gal-Dem, criticising Watson’s supposed hypocrisy, since the product allegedly perpetuates that “whiteness” is ideal.
“Do an image search of ad campaigns and you’ll quickly out find how widespread this practice of equating facial perfection to ‘whiteness’ is,” Naomi Mabita wrote in the essay. “Emma Watson, forever paraded in the media as a white feminist icon, is the face of Lancôme’s ‘Blanc Expert’ (Expert White) which contains disruptive ingredients intended to whiten the skin.”
Lancome’s Malaysian website calls the product the “No. 1 whitening brand in Asia.”
According to a separate screen shot of the product, it “[washes] off dead skin cells” with melanin.
Some people on Twitter were furious — even if Watson’s ad was from years ago.
I’ve been rooting for Emma Watson since I was a child, but her advocacy of skin bleaching products & the underlying racism is indefensible.
— Claire (@ClaireShrugged) March 29, 2016
The ad also prompted a full-on attack in The Daily Mail.
Watson’s representative defended the actress.
“Many artists often have limited control of how their image is used once an endorsement contract is signed,” he said, adding that, “I cannot comment on my client’s previous contractual arrangements with Lancome. However my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women.”
Additionally, People pointed out that she has not been associated with Lancome since 2013.
Watson, who famously starred as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” films, has become known as a feminist advocate with her He For She program.